So Close, This Far
Fifth Impression of Performance: “Come Closer, Closer… Closer than this?”
Behzad Shahni | Writer and Art Critic
“and we don’t hear
and we and we and we don’t
hear and we hear and we don’t
hear don’t hear”
First Impression: a fragment of poems, a fragment of pains, a fragment of realities; these are the concealed concepts behind the sounds in Mohammad Parvizi’s performance. The sounds which recount a great deal of the contemporary culture and are intermingled with experiences of melancholy and pleasure, hope and wailing, and a generation’s lost expectations; sounds which deafen the ears with all power in their return and disorder mental equivalences. They connect time and place together and demolish a great deal of different accidents in the course of a period on the mind_ Sounds which have been melted in the burning mountain of a nation’s inner experiences and that’s why they bear devastating effects. Here is the scene to review the memories that are experienced freshly by the addressees of this performance and it now reminds the previous layers in its post-subsistence situation; an experience which has conformed its entity to existence, reality and the sociology of a nation. He takes a look at these sounds from inside layers. Parvizi’s performance is a bitter experience in the culture industry of this land whose approach is a movement from form to theme and then the use of the same form in the denial of that theme; it is a suspension of the inside and outside. Here language, as the performing element of sound, is being damaged and constantly annihilated in the process of the imagery of a new reflection. It is a statement that has nothing behind its expression except a disturbed and painful reflection_ a reflection being interrogated and this is a bitter and vague destiny waiting for new lives. This is the ambiguous simiology of silence, devastation and destruction.
Second Impression: once entering, the addressee steps into Borges-like lobbies and labyrinths. There is a unique entrance ceremony with unusual decoupage; you feel like ascending upwards as entering. It means that the addressee’s view observes realities from a superior and higher position. He constantly attracts his viewer to the dust-covered labyrinth of sounds; passing him from dark and meandrous vestibules, he makes him prepared to reach sounds and images he won’t forger forever. Even the hair style and its curling on the face in the closed frames of the magic box are all reminiscent of another face in the time labyrinth. It is the story of a city’s streets and the collision of a countenance namely Negar Mostowfi in contact with existent and mental phenomena of her surrounding_ tradition and decay, politics and silence, rebellion and the house of detention_ and also the narration of her mental images recounting from the passage of combining art and the opposite ontology of a society; intertextual references which consciously or unconsciously maintain the object in the time and takes the mind to the endless place. This gloomy picture in the first plan gives a deep feeling to the sad and tragic mood of this drama by Atena Eshtiyaghi’s cello performance in the background and this fact -with text- achieves a more vivid scene in the second plan_ the psychiatry of a society which has settled to monolog and unreal relations instead of dialog; a work of art in direction with contemporary social realism.
Third Impression: in the third plan the addressee is placed in front of seven deep vestibules which in further back can be conceived as the negative of a film (Shirin galley architecture doesn’t let the understanding of such an event), i.e. the viewer constantly experiences a movement from negative to positive and vice versa; he can confront a close-up of reality in the original form in the positive section that once interfering to change this situation and to start the dialog (picking up the phone) the connection is cut. This is the climax of the performance. But in the negatives there is no possibility of consonance and entrance and it is only the mind which is engaged. They also recount the early and late positive layers, that is to say in the right vestibule there appears the captivity after investigation and in the left one, the freedom before that; in fact the background incidents of each layer is concealed in another one. From another viewpoint the addressee enters a darkroom where he subsists and that’s there where the layers of a developing photosensitive film change into tangible reality in front of his perplexed eyes. This could be the symbol and not a reflection of a city’s darkness being emphasized by the words’ reflection in second plan. [You are afraid of darkness |dark , dark, dark/ it depends how much dark it is| dark, dark, dark, dark , …] this plan is actually an outlook from picture to reality, from Negar Mostowfi to the viewer. Afterwards he leads the addressee- in the forth plan- from the darkroom into light and all of a sudden creates contraction and expansion in the eye and mind, in darkness and light for him. In this plan the external concept of performance is clearly conceivable and is an emphasis on our present space. It says all the happenings are occurring in this year and this season and this hour and this moment in the city [it is cloudy outside, it has got cold, it has snowed]. Mirrors placing across from each monitor in different plans compensate for the narrowness of the space for a better understanding of radiated concepts. They are also reflective of entity and ontology of their surroundings, for themselves.
The core of the objective proportions of this performance around us is such subjects_ it is a message obtained from the society and returns to it again in the form a new design. Parvizi shows in all the plans with monologs that he is familiar with the cultural sociology of developing countries where dialog plays no important role. He shows us signified notions to prove this event so that signifiers become manifest in the viewer objectively and in a stabilized manner: visual demonstration of the shortenings of a culture in plasma of light and sound. He makes the observer and observation one in a specific moment, i.e. he at the beginning subdues the spectators with the first and second plans and then makes them astonished in the third plan by placing them in front of their existence. He brings about a sense of identity inside them. When the viewers come to their senses they have already become a part of the work_ the intersection and embracing of the reality with metaphor and the equalization of the voices. By the powerful element of voice, he attacks from the most external happenings in the surrounding to their most internal mental ones in current situation and provides a fortified defense for their mental bombardment: a defense in whose back appears fear, vengeance and love. The executive axis and pivot of the performance is defined by sounds and this has made Pegah Ahangarani’s play in Negar Mostowfi’s role seem unimportant; i.e. the scene doesn’t require a performer here and it is only the sound which is playing the main role. Therefore concepts transfer to the addressee by sounds and not play or body.
Forth Impression: Negar Mostowfi is an event who worries us. Her countenance behind the ever neverland is constantly an absent companion. But her resonance will remain in minds and one day destroys everything. A sound that will return strangely and reflect inside us and will recall all those who have gone with all their features and demolish a great deal of existence on the ruins of nonexistence. And this will happen when we get close to her from distance, closer, even closer.